Monday, April 02, 2012

Changing It Around

I didn't set out to do this, but various failures over the weekend kicked off several minor technology changes today. It's like my gadgetry forgot to stop pranking me once April Fools' Day ended…

The old iPhone earbuds I've had since the 3G days are officially worn out: the left earbud has very little audio coming through. I don't know why I put up with that as long as I have, especially since I have a working pair of iPod earbuds (no clicker) and some higher-end things. I'd love to use my Bluetooth stereo headset, but it's good for about six hours and I need at least eight to get me through the workday. Right now, I'm using a pair of Future Sonics in-ear 'phones that I won some years back. I miss the clicker to start/stop my music (or answer the phone), but better that than no left channel.

The iOS Twitter client has become increasingly annoying, especially since IT has made Twitter's webapp unuseable. I need the ability to manage my lists from my phone if I can't use the webapp (or the official OSX Twitter client, for that matter). The last straw was yesterday, when the app decided to not update my Mentions anymore. I downloaded the free (ad-supported) version of Echofon this morning and like it better already. I can manage my lists, and the ads only appear in the primary timeline. The only two drawbacks so far: you have to switch out of Lists to tweet (unless replying/RTing) and I don't think new followers appear in the Mentions column like they do on the webapp.

Finally, I've started using Evernote instead of PlainText to write draft blog posts and story scenes while mobile. The Evernote app doesn't have ads and pulling a draft out of Evernote into Scrivener is about the same amount of effort as pulling it out of Dropbox (where PlainText saves stuff).

Technology can be such a PITA. I'm editing White Pickups on paper, and the only thing I have to worry about there is Mason snatching the pen out of the stack and thereby losing my place.

3 comments:

  1. I hope the Murphy's Law trend abates for you, although I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for someone who can use Twitter at work! I can only use it from my phone over my own (cell) internet connection. Even then technically that's against the rules, but if you're quick about it and just use it at lunch you don't usually get hassled.

    I keep hearing things about Scrivener, but the web site description failed to impress and every time I hear about it, it's someone just trying it out. I am curious, but I haven't figured out what the real fuss is about yet. Maybe I'll see if they have an Ubuntu distro -- don't think they did last time I checked.

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  2. Hi Katherine!

    I can't use Twitter at work, that's the thing… at least through the LAN now. I use my phone too. I don't miss deadlines (OK, one every 10 years or so), so they don't give me too much grief about what I'm doing at my desk.

    Me, I'm sold on Scrivener. On Linux, you might be able to use the Doze version under WINE; they were Mac-only until just a few months ago so there's no native Linux version right now. What I like is how you can organize things by scene — since I often serialize longer works, it's a natural way for me to write. You can view your MSS by scene, chapter, or the entire thing. It lets you drag scenes around, and (with some fiddling) will export to MOBI, ePUB, RTF, and just about everything else. Patrick Hester (@atfmb on Twitter) does a weekly Scrivener tip on his blog. I have an OSX Folder Action set up to copy the backups it makes to my Dropbox, so I'm disaster-proofed for all but the biggest disasters. Several of my tweeps use it.

    Probably the closest thing you'll get to a native Scrivener is using yWriter with Mono. Tony Noland (@TonyNoland on Twitter) uses it (on Doze) and could probably give you a few pointers.

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  3. Hi Larry:

    Wow, thank you for all of the information! I shall definitely have to research.

    I like the action folder idea -- shall have to do something similar.

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